Gallery preview: Metropolis: Reflections on the Modern City, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, March 23 – June 23
From rush hour Beijing and atmospheric views of India to Selfridges in Birmingham and the urban fringes of France and Russia, 25 artists – all working during the past decade – are represented in this £1 million haul of cityscapes, featuring more than 60 works paid for by the Art Fund.
© Collection The New Art Gallery Walsall / Ikon Gallery / Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Photo: Jonathan Shaw
Several of them respond to the host city. In Pallasades, Swiss artist Beat Streuli follows shoppers marching to and from the central shopping centre 12 years ago. Christiane Baumgartner, who is known for her epic video and woodcut works, uses both of those mediums in Ladywood, based on reflections of a railway bridge onto a canal.
“We have been collecting these works for the past five years,” says Simon Cane, of the Birmingham Museums Trust, which has collaborated with Walsall’s New Art Gallery on this exciting display of some of the most thoughtful artists around today.
“The gallery is proving itself as a leading player in contemporary art in the UK.
“Metropolis is a great boost to the region’s art scene, bringing some of the best international art to our doorsteps. It is fantastic to finally see the finished collection open to the public.”
The big name emporium gets a Finnish touch. Ola Kolehmainen, a minimalist observer of architectural details, takes Selfridges as the centre point for a portrait of the traditional and modern buildings making up modern Birmingham.
- Open 10am-5pm (10.30am-5pm Friday, 12.30pm-5pm Sunday). Admission free. Follow the gallery on Twitter @ BM_AG.
© Courtesy Miao Xiaochun
© Courtesy Nicholas Provost
© Ola Kolehmainen, Courtesy Purdy Hicks Gallery